Friday after the Second Sunday in Lent.

On the Delivering of Our Lord to Pilate for Judgment.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Delivering of Our Lord to Pilate for Judgment.

Endeavor, my soul, to realize what a dreadful night our Lord passed through. Represent to yourself once again His awful agony, His deadly conflict on Mount Olivet; with what cruelty He was dragged to Annas first and then to Caiphas; the unjust treatment He received from His judges, the barbarous manner in which their minions mishandled Him in the prison. Ah no; only at the last day will be fully known the extent of the brutality, the mockery, the contumely, the villany wherewith the coarse soldiery set at naught their God and their Lord in the prison. But now that dreadful night is past, and the first rays of the rising sun penetrate into the gloomy dungeon where He is confined.

1st. Consider how momentous is the day that now opens. It is the day that the world has looked forward to for centuries, the day whose advent the patriarchs in Limbo have long anticipated with ardent yearnings, the day for which Jesus Himself has longed during the three and thirty years of His life on earth, the day of man’s redemption, the day whereon the world is to be reconciled to God by the death of Christ. Picture to yourself the manner in which the Redeemer hails the dawn of this day. When the first faint streaks of light fell tremblingly upon the sacred Lamb of God, so shamefully maltreated in that dismal dungeon, may it not be imagined that He raised His hands, tightly bound as they were with cords, to greet the dawning day; how touching must His morning prayer have been, how fervent the thanks He renders to His heavenly Father that the day has at length come which is the goal of His earthly career, the day on which the portals of Heaven will be thrown open, Hell will be vanquished and the will of His heavenly Father accomplished. While Jesus welcomes the day in so edifying, so touching a manner, with His enemies the very reverse is the case. They greet the day with feelings of rage and hatred; they greet it with diabolical delight, because it is now in their power to put the Nazarene to death; no word of prayer or of thankfulness passes their lips; all their schemes, their aspirations breathe murder and malice; this day is for them not one of blessing, but of cursing. My soul, every day is equally momentous for you, for on each and every day your Lord suffers death anew in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Ask yourself how you begin the day; reflect when the first rays of light penetrate into your room, your cell, that a fresh day is beginning which may be either for your salvation or your perdition. For your salvation, if you stand beneath the cross, erected not on Calvary but on the altar where Mass is celebrated, either with John’s purity of soul, or with Magdalen’s contrition of heart; for your perdition, if your spirit is that of the Jews, one of hatred and blasphemy, and you only employ the day to crucify the Son of God afresh by your sinful deeds.

2d. Consider the decision come to by the Jews, to deliver up Jesus to the Gentile governor. The death of Jesus is the one object of their schemes and their exertions. And because they did not themselves possess the power and authority to execute the sentence of death, they determine to surrender the innocent Lamb of God to the pagan procurator. Thus they deliver one of their own race and nation to an alien, they give up a Worshipper of the one true God to an idolater, their King to a foreign official, their God into the hands of a man. To such lengths can blind hatred go! How often, how ever, has the same thing happened! How often have Christian people, the children of God; sold their heavenly Father to the heathen, as Jacob’s sons did their brother, out of hatred, or covetousness, or some other vile passion. Alas! perhaps you too, my soul, must plead guilty to having delivered your Lord whom you have received into your heart, over to your passions to be crucified, to having handed Christ over to the godless Pilate, since you have, from motives of human respect, the desire to gain popularity, violated the sacred precepts of the Church, the rules of your Order. Bewail your fault and promise amendment.

3d. Consider how our Lord was dragged before Pilate’s judgment-seat. The Pharisees and high priests went first, arrayed in festive vestments, and Jesus followed, surrounded by the servants and executioners, His wrists fettered, His countenance fearfully disfigured by the ill-treatment He endured in the preceding night, ashy pale, His features seamed and swollen from the blows He had received, His hair tangled, His beard torn, a pitiable and sorrowful object. The mob surged around Him, the populace, both high and low, pursuing Him with mocking taunts and maledictions. Thus the Redeemer staggered in pain through the very streets which only a short time before rang with the shouts of hosanna raised by a thousand voices, the very streets where only a short time before the sick had been laid, in order that the Lord when passing by might heal them.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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March Devotion: St. Joseph

Virtue to practice: Mortification

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Splendour of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most pure, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most couragious, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of all who labor, pray for us.
Glory of family life, pray for us.
Preserver of virgins, pray for us.
Mainstay of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house,
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500′s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

Good St. Joseph protect us, protect the holy Church.

O good and kind St. Joseph guide us in the way of perfection.

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